Twisted Image #1


Twisted Image #1 tabloid
San Francisco, CA. 
Originated by “Ace Backwords” of the same-name comic-strip still (?) found in many a zine, this had great content with pull-no-punches reviews, great chop-&-paste graphics and wicked humour.

Found the first four or six issues about 10-12 years back at Scooter’s POP! store on Hastings for like $2 apiece and, uh… yeah, that was pretty neat.




I was living in a little hotel room in the middle of nowhere (Eureka, California, technically).  It was May of 1982 and I remember the moment distinctly.  I was reading the latest issue of BAM magazine, this freebie rock magazine.  BAM usually featured San Francisco  ’60s hippie retread bands, like Huey Lewis & the News,  Journey, Eddie Money and the Jefferson Starship.  But in this particular issue they had a review of the latest record by this punk band called Fear.  From the photo, Fear looked cool and futuristic with their spikey short hair.  And their songs sounded wildly satirical and outrageous. They were obviously intelligent people.

I had always been fascinated with the ’60s hippie  underground newspapers.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I should publish my own punk rock underground newspaper.  I did a little research and was surprised to find out you could print up 10,000 copies of a newsprint tabloid for pennies a copy.  So suddenly my crazy idea seemed actually feezable.

“Twisted Image” was the first name I came up with, right off the top of my head.  And I immediately knew it was right.  Then I set about creating the logo.  I couldn’t afford an actual package of Letra-set professional lettering.  So I made a 10-cent xerox of one of the fonts from their catalogue, and cut the individual letters out with scissors and pasted them onto a piece of paper.  Somehow, that seemed “punk rock.”

 I moved back down to Berkeley.  And one of the first things I did was check out the Fear show when they hit San Francisco.  After the gig I interviewed the lead singer with my $20 tape recorder.  And I felt like I had really scored for the first issue.  I felt like a hunter who had bagged his first big game.  Fear had recently been on Saturday Night Live, and they were friends with the famous TV star John Belushi.  So I felt that would give Twisted Image the cachet of real media (as opposed to the daydream of some weird guy sitting in a little room in the middle of nowhere).
No automatic alt text available.
The Summer of 1982.
I’ll never forget seeing that first issue coming off the printing press.  We had it printed up  in Fremont in this huge wharehouse with workers everywhere and these gigantic printing presses and the heavy smell of fresh ink in the air.  And there they were —  all the bundles of Twisted Image sitting there against a wall on a palette, waiting for me.  With my drawing and my logo on the cover of every one, the glossy ink shining and glistening in the factory light.  I quickly tore open a bundle and leafed through every page. My little daydream actually existed in the world!  My baby!!  It’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to knowing how a woman feels when they give birth.

The next evening I had a second thrill when I dropped  off  stacks of Twisted Image #1 at the On Broadway, the legendary San Francisco punk club.  I stood there in amazement, like a secret voyeur, as I watched all the punkers sitting around in the lounge area, eagerly (seemingly) reading through Twisted Image #1.

Probably 95% of the ideas I come up with never amount to anything.  But every now and then “even the losers get lucky sometimes.”   As they say.

Years later, after that “Twisted Image” logo had been xeroxed and re-xeroxed, printed and reprinted, at least a 100 million times, and copies had literally traveled all across the world, I happened to be going through an old box of papers and I came across the original logo from 1982. There it was!  It looked pretty much the same, aside from the paper yellowing a little from the cheap glue I had used.  And it gave me a very weird feeling.  That all the copies had generated from this one little piece of paper.  It was like finding a  voodoo doll in your attic.  That had been sitting there all those years, secretly beaming these weird vibration out into the world.


One thought on “Twisted Image #1

  1. My favorite line from that review of Twisted Image #1 – which I just happened to spot while randomly surfing the web and inspired me to write this darn blog — was the “wicked humor” line. Thats about the nicest thing a person could say about me. And I only hope I live up to it.

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